Ready For Love Game
by Frank Kermit
This is another group activity I created for one of my weekly workshops. Ideally used with mixed groups of single men and women in dating workshops. It is a little complicated, but it WILL make a point to the group.
I have included it in my coaching workbooks:
I'm a Man, That's My Job
I'm a Woman, It My Time
It may also make some attendees upset. That is the risk you take doing it. Seriously, some of your attendees may get very very upset. Best to do this with people you have worked with for a while, as this game will point out where people self-sabotage and not everyone likes being told how they ruin their own chances at finding love.
The premise is that you go to a florist and buy the cheapest flowers you can (in my area at the time, the cheapest were carnations). Each flower will be individually wrapped in cellophane. Ideally aim for a variety of colors, but it is not necessary.
The amount of flowers you pick up should be about 20-25% of your group capacity. So if you get 20 people coming to the workshop you need to get at least 4-5 flowers.
At the beginning of the workshop you tell them that you are going to play a game called “Ready For Love” and it requires volunteers.
You ask for the same number of volunteers as you have flowers. It cannot be someone whose friends push him or her. It has to be people independent enough to volunteer themselves. You as the host cannot ask anyone specific to step up.
When you have the number of volunteers you need stepping forward (try to have half be men, and half be women), you will make the announcement that these brave souls have taken the risks necessary to find love. Then give each of them a flower.
Tell them: The Flower is a symbol of the Love they have been given, and the love they will risk giving.
It is a symbol of how much risk someone is willing to take when it comes to dating and finding new love in his or her lives.
Each flower holder is then given a choice.
The choice is you can either
1-Give the flower to anyone in the room (regardless of gender) that you want; it is a SYMBOL that you are ready for a potential opportunity at love in the future (with no guarantee that you will ever give get it back – people cannot make “deals”)
2-Hold on to the flower as a symbol that you would rather hold on to this first chance at love, not be open to new potential opportunities for love in the future (but again are not guaranteed)
Rule: You cannot give a flower to someone that already has one.
At that point those flower holders who still hold their flowers may sit down, and those who are ready to give it away, find someone in the room to give it to.
Rule: Anyone without a flower can step forward and ASK to be given a flower when it is time for the flower holders to give a flower to someone. Make sure you assistant keeps track on who gets up to VERBALLY ASK for a flower. They have to verbalize it. Standing up is NOT enough. They have to verbally ask the group of flower holders.
Each person must find the courage within to ask individually.
They cannot ask as a group (if you need your friend to help you ask for love, you will die alone).
Each person can ONLY ask once the entire nightlong. After they used up the once, they can no longer ask for love. Everyone get this one turn including people that have had a flower already, gave it up, and have yet to ask for one again.
As the host, you MUST keep track of each flower and who first volunteered, who held it, and who gave it away, and who got it. Get an assistant to help you keep track. It will be important later. Through the course of the workshop, continue with your lesson plan and every little while, you will again ask all the flower holders to step forward and give them all the same choice:
1-Give the flower to anyone in the room you want as a SYMBOL that you are ready for a potential opportunity at love (with no guarantee that you will ever give get it back – people cannot make “deals”)
2-Hold on to the flower as a symbol that you would rather hold on to this chance at love, not be open to new potential opportunities for love in the future (but again are not guaranteed)
Those that hold their flowers still, sit down. People who get up and VERBALLY ASK can ask those that want to give their flowers. The flower giver must choose to give it to someone that asks or they can give it to someone that has not asked. It is their choice completely
Once the flowers have been passed on, and you have recorded who got them, and who gave them, who asked for it, if that person got it, and who has held on to the flower refusing to pass it along.
In order for this to work, you have to run this a number of times. If your workshop is 3 hours, try to get in 10 runs of the game (run two, one right after the other to see how that changes it for people). It should not be a predictable pattern (every 20 min).
Over the course of the game you will notice that some of the same people might get a flower each time they are available to get one. You will also notice that some people will not get any flowers at all, and not even ask for one, nor ever volunteer.
What you will discover next is how the entire metaphor of the Flower as being Ready For Love is just a symbol for why the people in the group are still single.
Now it is time to explain why the host (and assistants have been keeping track of who did what and how often). There are points assigned for every action taken and for every flower received.
(you do not tell the attendees that you were keeping track of points)
Each person that was the first to volunteer gets 10 points if they gave their flower away
If the first volunteer holds on to the flower during the first give away, they lose 9 points, and only get 1 point
Each time someone gives away a flower they get 5 points
Each time someone gets a flower they did not ask for, they get 1 point
Each time someone gets up to ASK for a flower, they get 10 points
If the person asking for a flower gets one, they get an extra 5 points (15 total)
If the person holds on to the flower, they do not get or lose points at all. (Zero) They stay the same.
When you tabulate the points you will find that the people who volunteered and who asked for the flowers tend to have the most points.
Those people that refused to participate could have zero points.
Then there are those in the middle.
Now for the secret...the points are meaningless (for the most part). It is not based on the number of points you have that will guarantee that you find love.
The ONLY thing that the points reflect is your willingness to be READY FOR LOVE. Just like life does not guarantee results, neither can you.
However, the people that put themselves out there the most are the ones that have the best chances for love.
Each point represents a chance at love. But just like in life, if you block yourself from taking chances on new opportunities for love, because you are too obsessed with the “flower” in your hand at the moment, you will not find a potential soul mate.
You need to be open to love in order to be READY FOR LOVE. THAT is the point of the game. To remind everyone to be open to meeting a potential soul mate.
Every 5 points represents the number of soul mates you will meet over the course of your lifetime.
The more you put yourself out there, the more soul mates you will meet over the course of your life. Sometimes you might get lucky that someone likes you enough to make a move on you (give you a flower without asking). If you are LUCKY enough to be attractive to others, you get a shot at collecting enough opportunities to come across a new soul mate.
That is still no guarantee it will work out.
But you have a bigger chance at meeting someone.
The people who initially volunteered as well as the people that got up and verbally asked got the highest point. They represent the ones who are willing to ask for what they want and to volunteer to
take the risk to be Ready for Love. They get 10 points (which means they have the chance of meeting two great soul mates throughout their love lives).
The people who volunteered at the beginning, but who did not give the flower away represent the people that were too attached to their first love, and closed themselves off from new opportunities for love. Thus they only get 1 point (the same amount of points that someone gets when they are just lucky). One point alone is not enough to get to them a soul mate.
Each time someone gives away a flower, that person gets 5 points. These people represent what it takes to increase your chances in your love life to meet as many soul mates as you can. You do not get love by hoarding it. You get more love by giving more love. If a person gives away a flower every time he or she gets one, by the end of the night, that person will have great chances to meet a number of soul mates in their love life. (All symbolic of course).
Each time that someone gets a flower without asking for it, they get 1 point only. They represent the people that just get lucky in their lives. 1 point is not enough, but if they are lucky enough to get 5 flowers without asking, they can achieve 5 points by the end of the workshop and earn the chance at having one soul mate in their love life.
Each time that someone asked for a flower and got it, they get a total of 15 points (10 for asking and a bonus extra 5 for actually getting one). They represent what it takes to have the BEST chances of finding real love. They have learned to ASK for what they want, and just the fact they have put themselves out there gives them high chances to meet a soul mate.
If they get a flower, whether it is because no one else was available at the moment to ask (timing does play a factor), or because there was something about the person that the flower giver liked, it means they are READY FOR LOVE in both taking a risk and asking for what they want.
There will be people that get no points by the end of the night. Or only get less than 5 points because they did not get a flower by luck enough times or held on to a flower and refused to pass it along. These people represent those who have given up on dating.
They did not volunteer, they did not ask for love, they just waited to see if they would be lucky enough if love came to them. Just like in life, if you do not put yourself out there and go for it, you will miss out.
What I found eerie is how this really translated well to how people really are in their loves lives.
Those that did not want to take risks or ask for the flower, knowing what the game represented (something you must enforce as the host), are the same ones that will not go for it in real life.
Those that get obsessed over the most inexpensive flower, tend to be the same personality types that put too much emphasis on a past relationship and struggle to move on.
Those that get the point of the game gave away their flower each and every chance they could, understand that the issue is not the flower, or the neediness for the flower; it was about putting something out there.
And finally, what ends up happening is that the person that gives the most flowers away is also the person that gets the most flowers back, because although no one is forced to give it back, they just do, because he or she gave them “love” first.
A complex game, but a really powerful lesson if you play it correctly; but the worst part? Listening to people’s excuses after the workshop why they did not want to volunteer, ask or give up their flowers.
Just like in real life.
The ones with the least amount of love have the most excuses.
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Dr. Laurie Betito Quotes